Writing is a solitary pursuit. Summer is a time of long-planned vacations to places far and wide, fun in the sun, and bonding together for diversion and recreation with loving relatives, long-time friends, even an occasional roommate or two. My advice to the serious writer: have absolutely nothing to do with this!
Ban the family vacation or group getaway in exchange for a week or two of solitary bliss, prolific peace and quiet, and unprecedented page production. You will feel truly alive, creative, and productive, and will experience what it really means to be a dedicated “man or woman of letters.” Yes, you might feel a little extra lonely here and there, and be envious of the loved ones who are enjoying pool parties, surfside strolls, and sightseeing tours. But we’re writers, right? And whatever is on your literary palette, whether it be web page content, social media posts, search engine copywriting, or the longer form writing of a short story, novel, or screenplay, you’ll be amazed at the amount of work you just might get done. This “sabbatical” from your loving family and friends (and, of course, we love ’em!), could ignite your output, snap a writer’s block, and even result in higher earnings than normal for like periods when everyone’s home.
Now, if you are already alone, isolated, miserable, have no one in your life, and have no life outside of your writing, then this seasonal suggestion would not apply to you. Keep writing, get therapy, and…all the best! But if you do have your significant others, your close-connected next of kin, and others you value and cherish in your life, take your leave of absence from their group holiday in a nice way. Just tell them you really need some alone time, and that you’ll be thinking of them every minute (unlikely, but say it anyway), and that you’ll even write them little greetings by e-mail three times a day to let them know you’re with them in spirit, can’t wait to see them again when they return, and you’ll be able to hear all about the great things they saw, did, and ate while on vacation.
Okay, reality bites, and I know this idea might be harder to pull off for some people more than others. Mothers of young children who constantly depend on “mom’s help” more than dad’s on anything and everything would find it difficult to boycott the family getaway. Single parents, mothers and fathers both, would find it impossible to carry out unless the kids went off on holiday with grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends.
But I do think that it’s something to think about and aspire to for all writers who live with family, friends, or roommates. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so, in addition to serving your writer, it could be a good thing for everyone, on both sides of the equation.
Michael V is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.